WGANC team defends at the 2012 North-South Matches -- photo amateurgolf.com staff
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (July 29, 2012) – The Northern team successfully defended the team title at the annual North-South matches contested this year at San Luis Obispo Country Club.
Last year the Northern team stopped the South from winning eight consecutive titles with their win at Santa Maria Country Club. This year the North defended the title with a decisive victory, proving that last year wasn't a fluke and may just be the beginning of a streak of their own.
The teams consist of the top players from both the Women’s Golf Association of Northern California and the Women’s Southern California Golf Association. Players receive points based on their play the previous year in their association’s events and the three two-person teams are comprised of the top six point winners from each association. The third team must consist of players over age 50.
The matches are Ryder Cup style, 18 holes with three formats. The first six holes are four ball, commonly referred to as best ball, the second six holes are alternate shot and the third six are two-man scramble. Each format is worth a point and there is one extra point for the team with the most holes won. There are 12 points total at stake.
The first match was between the Northern team of Lynne Cowan of Half Moon Bay and Rachel Moreaux of Richmond Country Club, both plus 1 handicappers against the Southern team of Kathy Kurata of Friendly Hills Country Club, a plus 1 and Linda Olsen of PGA West, a reinstated amateur with a 1 handicap. Both teams got off to a good start each making two birdies in the first format and either winning or losing the holes resulting in 3 hole points each and a halved point for the format.
In the alternate shot the two teams halved three of the holes, but the Southern team won holes 9 and 11 making short birdie putts after some excellent iron play, resulting in a point for the South for the format. The South now had the advantage with 6 ˝ holes won to the North’s 5 ˝.
It all came down to the scramble format. The Cowan-Moreaux team came on strong winning the first hole, no. 13, capping a 6-footer for birdie after Moreaux stiffed a short iron. After some fine iron shots at the par 3 14th, Kurata canned a 15 foot downhill putt for birdie only to be matched with a 10 footer for birdie by Moreaux for a half. Both teams went on to halve the short par five 15 with clutch birdies. Hole 16 was the beginning of another birdie run for the North. Cowan holed a 5-footer on 16 for a win and then went on to can a 35 foot slider on the tricky uphill par 3 17th to capture the point for the format and the overall win. The Northern team finished with 10 holes won to the South’s 8, so the overall points were 2 ˝ to 1 1/2.
The second match was between the Southern team of Dana Levy, a 3 handicapper and Marcy Austin, a 4, both playing out of Los Posas Country Club against the Northern team of Eva Monisteri, a 2 from Half Moon Bay and Stacey Camera a 4 playing out of Fountaingrove Golf and Athletic Club.
In the first format, the four ball, the North took the lead with solid play carding pars for all six holes. The Southern team lost a couple holes with bogeys. While both Levy and Austin were playing on the team for the first time, the Monisteri-Camara team had a slight advantage as they teamed together last year. The North won the format grabbing the first point winning 4 ˝ holes to the South’s 1 ˝.
In the alternate shot format the North had a fast start with a birdie at the first hole, number 7. Both teams halved holes 8 and 9 with pars. The North won 10 and 11 with pars and they halved hole 12 with bogeys. The North took the second format point and the hole points were now 9 to 3.
The Levy-Austin duo from the South came on strong in the scramble format winning the first three holes with a par and two birdies. Both teams halved the final three holes with pars. Although the South won the final format and the format point they lost the overall points 7 ˝ to 10 ˝. The North grabbed 3 points to the South’s 1 point.
The matches now stood 5 ˝ to 2 1/2 and the title would be decided by the senior teams. The North was represented by Sandy Woodruff, a 2 handicapper out of Pasatiempo Golf Club and her partner Marianne Towersey, also a 2, of Monterey Peninsula Country Club. For the South it was Joan Higgins, a 1 from Glendora Country Club paired with another new player to the team, Nancy Urbick, a 3 handicapper playing out of Bernardo Heights Country Club.
The four ball started out with each team halving the first four holes. The Woodruff-Towersey team finished the format strong carding birdies at holes 5 and 6, winning 4 hole points and taking the point for the format. The South gained 2 hole points.
The alternate shot was a wash with each team winning two holes, tying two holes and losing two holes. They each received 3 hole points and the North had 1 1/2 to the South’s ˝ point.
The Higgins-Urbick team rallied in the scramble format winning holes 13 and 14 with birdies. But the Woodruff-Towersey duo came back with a birdie of their own at 15 and the rest of the holes were halved with pars.
The senior team’s final scores were North 9 ˝, South 8 1/2, and the North captured 2 ˝ format points to the South’s 1 ˝. For the team total the North won 8 points and the South won 4 points. The North won their second consecutive title after a seven year winning streak started by the South in 2004.